Densely Packed Arrays of Ultra-High-Aspect-Ratio Silicon Nanowires Fabricated using Block-Copolymer Lithography and Metal-Assisted Etching



Metal-assisted etching is used in conjunction with block-copolymer lithography to create ordered and densely-packed arrays of high-aspect-ratio single-crystal silicon nanowires with uniform crystallographic orientations. Nanowires with diameters and spacings down to 19 nm and 10 nm, respectively, are created as either continuous carpets or as carpets within trenches. Wires with aspect ratios up to 220 are fabricated, and capillary-induced clustering of wires is eliminated through post-etching critical point drying. The wires are single crystals with 〈100〉 axis directions. The distribution of wire diameters is narrow and closely follows the size distribution of the block copolymer, with a standard deviation of 3.12 nm for wires of mean diameters 22.06 nm. Wire arrays formed in carpets and in channels have hexagonal order with good fidelity to the block copolymer pattern. Fabrication of wires in topographic features demonstrates the ability to accurately control wire placement. Wire arrays made using this new process will have applications in the creation of arrays of photonic and sensing devices.